Originally teased way back in 2016, Witchbrook is an upcoming life simulation and social RPG that puts you in the shoes of a witch in college (you could call it Big Witch Academia). Developed by Chucklefish, the indie studio that helped publish Stardew Valley, the comparisons are inevitable—pixel art, farming, relationships, and magical battles against forest monsters will all be part of your academic journey. If all goes according to plan, you will follow in your ancestor’s footsteps and take over as the resident witch of the sleepy seaside town of Mossport.
Witchbrook is now one of Steam’s most-wishlisted games, and alongside Eric Barone’s Stardew successor Haunted Chocolatier, it has a chance of being the next breakout cozy life sim. Here’s everything we know about it so far.
What is the Witchbrook release date?
Despite its lengthy time in development, we don’t have a release date just yet for Witchbrook, and can probably expect it in 2023 at the earliest. According to Chucklefish, early on Witchbrook was being coded in the programming language Rust, but it eventually switched to an in-house engine created for Wargroove. That game came out in early 2019, so it’s safe to say that Witchbrook’s development began (or restarted) in earnest after Wargroove was finished.
In a 2022 Reddit AMA Studio Chucklefish gave another reason for the slow development: “Chucklefish is a zero-crunch studio.” In 2019, the indie developer was criticized for using unpaid contributors in the development of its first game, Starbound. The studio didn’t exactly admit it was wrong, but did say “Chucklefish has grown considerably into an indie studio that has a strong emphasis on good working practices, providing a welcoming environment for all employees and freelancers.”
After a long period of silence from the Witchbrook developers, we’ve recently gotten some new updates from the team. In June, Chucklefish updated the Steam page for the game with new screenshots, features, and information. If you’re really enchanted, you can even put the game on wishlist.
Does Witchrbook have a gameplay trailer?
No, believe it or not. Well, sort of—Chucklefish shared a short video of the earlier incarnation of Witchbrook way back in 2017, before it restarted development on a new engine and switched to an isometric perspective. That’s no longer representative of the game that exists today, and we don’t have so much as a teaser trailer yet.
That gif is pretty nice, though.
Here are all of the Witchbrook screenshots so far
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What will being a witch be like?
Even without gameplay footage, we know a fair amount about what your daily life as a witch will look like. You can:
- Attend classes and improve your magical abilities.
- Grow plants and brew them into potions.
- Customize your character’s features and outfit.
- Spend time at your cozy forest cottage, gardening and raising animals.
- Develop relationships with other witches and townsfolk, including romance and rivalry.
- Cruise around on your broom and participate in broom races.
- Hang out in Mossport and take advantage of shops and restaurants.
- Participate in seasonal events. We’re definitely going trick-or-treating.
In an interview (opens in new tab) back in 2018, developers cited references from Terry Pratchett to Studio Ghibli. Looking at the art style in early screenshots, I can definitely imagine the game feeling a bit like Kiki’s Delivery Service—I can only hope that I, too, can bring my kitty along for a broom ride!
Speaking of bringing people along for broom rides, multiplayer has also been confirmed for the game. We don’t know what this will look like just yet, but coming from the same team that worked on the Stardew multiplayer is a good sign. Maybe we can work together to fetch wood for some fancy new wands, or come up with a spell that dumps stinky pondwater on some jerk that looks like Draco Malfoy. And it definitely wouldn’t be college without scraping what little money we have together for a trip to brunch. We’ll probably be a bit less hung over, though.
Will Witchbrook be multiplayer?
Yes, though Chucklefish hasn’t confirmed how many players it’ll support.